We asked an employee, a salon owner, and a booth renter if retail sales should be a top priority in the salon and got three very different responses. Read on to hear what these readers have to say.
Employee: Deb Blowars, Artistic Trends Salon, Sellersville, Pa.
Yes! It’s our job as beauty professionals to properly educate our clients on what they should be using at home to maintain their salon look. Meeting more of a client’s needs through retail will make her more likely to stay loyal and to send referrals.
I’ve been in the beauty industry for 18 years. For many years, it was about “making the sale,” but then I learned being pushy wasn’t getting me anywhere; being myself and educating the clients is what has gotten me to where I am now. My average retail to service percentage is 17%, and my future goal is 25%. I’m staying on track with my goals, and I receive a bonus for doing so.
As an employee, I also understand every inch of space needs to be income producing in a profitable salon. Retail sales pay the “rent” on the space they take up. It’s our place to help educate clients, increase sales for the salon, and get a nice bonus check for the little bit of effort it takes!
Salon Owner: Cici Coffee, Natural Body Spa & Shoppe/10 Ten Nail Spa, Atlanta
Definitely yes. When I’m scouting out new locations for my salons (both are chains), I find that emphasizing the retail aspect of the business gives me a leg up with the developers. It generally makes the salon a better “fit” within a retail center because having retail encourages lingering in the salon and in the shopping center as a whole. It elevates a salon’s status in the minds of developers and shopping center co-tenants. I give retail dominant, front-of-store placement in my salons. I think this layout invites people of both sexes to comfortably walk in when they see a retail item they might like. They they’re in a position to consider our salon service offerings. In 10 Ten, we expanded upon the retail area in our second location, more so than in the first, because we saw retail as a real opportunity. That location is experiencing 35% retail to service sales, and we’re very pleased with that.
Booth Renter: Nicolette Peterson, Lucia’s Half & Nail Salon, Hesperia, Calif.
No, I don’t think retail sales should be a top priority in the salon. I think protecting our clients through good sanitation/disinfection habits and education should be at the top of the priorities list. Many people opening salons instantly think about the profit. While that’s an important reason for opening a salon, we also need to look at the bigger pictures of keeping our clients safe and educating them.
Retail is a wonderful way to bring in profits, and it’s true that it can make our jobs easier. A salon showing clients how to care for their nails, hands, and feet is good; providing products to help clients maintain their services at home is even better. Retail is important, but it’s just not ranked toward the top of my priorities list.
Clients have to be able to trust us, so we need to be honest and give them what they need. Retail does play a large role in the salon but there are other things that are way more important.